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Thursday, April 07 2016

Superintendent to Address Human Rights Commission

Adapted from a Greenfield Human Rights Commission (HRC) press release:

The Greenfield Human Rights Commission will host Greenfield Public Schools Superintendent Jordana Harper on Monday evening, April 11, 2016, at 6PM, at the Greenfield Town Hall, for a discussion regarding an incident that took place on March 14th, at or about 7:45AM to 8AM, at Greenfield High School, involving at least 8 students, the school resource officer, and other GHS staff members.

The incident allegedly involved a physical altercation between 2 students and onlookers involving 6 students.  All 8 students were alleged to have been arrested and charged in the Juvenile Court as well as suspended from school. The commission became aware of the incident formally at it's first Community Forum on Overcoming Racism later that evening.

It was alleged by a family in attendance, and other members of the public, that racial considerations may have been involved in the incident.  The chair of the comission was requested to make a preliminary inquiry into the facts and circumstances of the altercation, subsequent arrests, school discipline, and court proceedings.  The chair will report the results of this preliminary inquiry on April 11th and has invited Superintendent Harper to discuss the matter with the commission.

The commission will also seek to explore any and all ways that it may be helpful in supporting restorative justice initiatives and cultural sensitivity programs in the public schools and in the community at large.  Greenfield Police Chief Robert Haigh and Greenfield School Committee Chair Tim Farrell have been invited to address the commission about school resource officers in the Greenfield Public Schools, specifically the unfunded state mandate regarding them and how the commission may advocate and help in this regard.

The public, as always, is invited to attend and participate.